Approx. 500 mio. euro.
BR website is an eCommerce platform based on Sitecore, Microsoft Commerce, SOLR and broker technology
In the spring of 2010 we started a project in cooperation with TOP-TOY A/S. The goal of the project was to create a web based eCommerce platform enabling TOP-TOY to sell toys online on www.br.dk, www.br-leksaker.se, www.br-lelut.fi, www.br.no and also creating new websites for www.br-spielwaren.de, www.toysrus.dk, www.toysrus.se, www.toysrus.no, www.toysrus.fi and www.toysrus.is. Beside creating the web frontend using Sitecore and MS Commerce server the project envolved implementing a broker layer to handle communication with the ERP system, DIBS, logistics and so on. The broker technology chosen for this task ended up being FUSE (JAVA based) as TOP-TOYs own IT department was skilled in JAVA and the flexible properties on FUSE made it right for the task. ActiveMQ was used for used for securing transactions between the webfrontend and the broker (and internally in the broker).
The User Experience
Instead of creating a eCommerce platform where the commerce engine drives the user experience we wanted to use search and Sitecore to drive the user experience and just use the commerce engine for the checkout flow, thus creating a better user experience with search as the primary driver.
We chose SOLR (Sitecore Search Solution) as the search engine because of the price and the enterprise features. The GUI and information achitechture was created by Sorthvid and Hello Monday who included the search dimension early in the process making it integrate seamlessly with the search aspect.
We used SCRUM as the development method which proved to be very effective in a project that had to be implemented within a short timeframe (½ year) and with 4000+ man hours. Furthermore it enabled the product owner (TOP-TOY) to prioritize the components in an order which made sure that the platform was ready an online for Christmas 2010 and thus secured ROI on the system.
User to User recommendations
The platform uses Avail (www.avail.net) as a driver for behavioral targeting. It records the behavior of the users and finds correlations in the data. It uses these correlations to present products to the user based on the behaviour of the current user but also on the behaviour users like him. The whole thing is based on the idea that instead of guessing what products the users might like, the products presented to a user are based on actual user behaviour.